For Immediate Release
Contact: Chris Caldwell, UCOR
UCOR names first woman chief engineer
Oak Ridge, Tenn., October 17, 2023 – United Cleanup Oak Ridge (UCOR) has named Christie Sudduth as the company’s chief engineer—the first time a woman has occupied that position in the company.
Sudduth’s appointment takes place at a time when engineering continues to be a male-dominated profession, with women engineers numbering fewer than 1 in 5 in the U.S. workforce, according to the Society for Women Engineers. Additionally, research by the job placement firm Zippia shows that of the more than 16,000 chief engineers in the United States, fewer than 4% are women.
As chief engineer, Sudduth will supervise 90 engineers and oversee engineering activities for a series of multi-million-dollar environmental cleanup projects across the U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Reservation. Sudduth was previously selected by UCOR senior management to participate in the company’s Rising Senior Leaders program, which provides training and resources to employees identified as having the potential to move into higher management roles.
“Engineering support is critical to UCOR’s mission to complete major environmental cleanup on the Oak Ridge Reservation,” said Eric Abelquist, UCOR’s Chief Technology Officer and manager of the Technical, Engineering, and Nuclear Safety organization. “Christie was chosen to lead our high-performing engineering team because of the high bar of technical excellence she demonstrates. Additionally, her strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills will serve us well.”
Sudduth previously managed the nuclear and criticality safety section of UCOR’s engineering organization. When UCOR assumed operation of the Transuranic Waste Processing Center, she took on oversight of the TWPC nuclear and criticality safety program.
A chemical engineering graduate of the University of South Carolina, Sudduth began her career at the Savannah River Remediation (SRR) project as a flammability subject matter expert. While at SRR, she led the Data Integrity Review Team and oversaw the tank farm sampling program, among other responsibilities.
Sudduth and her husband Andy live in Knoxville with their three children.
UCOR is the DOE Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management’s lead environmental cleanup contractor. The company’s 2,100+ workers are dedicated to safely reducing environmental risk on the Oak Ridge Reservation while helping DOE’s Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration continue their important missions. Learn more about the company at UCOR.com.
UCOR NR 2023-17
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PHOTO CAPTION: Christie Sudduth, UCOR Chief Engineer